WREXHAM unveiled their new blue change strip on Saturday at Northampton Town and the colour summed up Colin Calderwood's mood at the end of a hard-fought contest.

The Cobblers' boss was as frustrated as his players that they were unable to break down the Dragons' defence on an afternoon when conditions were made tricky by wind and driving rain.

Town had the better of the chances, midfielder Mark Jones made a goal-line clearance and the home team were denied an 89th minute winner by the woodwork, yet on balance the visitors certainly earned their point.

But, although his side are still seeking their first victory of the campaign, Calderwood - like his Racecourse counterpart Denis Smith - is prepared to take a long term view of their prospects.

"So far this season we have had one bad half out of six and I think, although we don't have the points we feel we want or perhaps deserved, we have the foundation to go on from here and have a successful season," he said afterwards.

"Wrexham are a good side, but we quelled their danger in the second half and we feel aggrieved that we have not won. All three of the teams we have played so far have been good sides so I can't be too critical of the players in this game."

Smith, too, kept his criticisms to a minimum and said he was delighted with another gritty performance, on the back of the midweek trip to Notts County "To come here and get no goals against is great," he said. "We conceded none in the first game, there shouldn't have been one the other night and another clean sheet today gives us a base to build from.

"We've got to do more at the other end - we know that - but the lads are new, they are settling in and getting used to the way we play.

"I've been delighted with the performances so far.

"This is a difficult place to come and get a draw, and obviously they were going at it because they've had what for them is a poor start.

"But it's a long season and they'll be quite happy they could push us that far and we're quite happy we could resist them. It's going to be a long season and on that display I would expect both teams to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season."

There certainly wasn't much to choose between the sides during the first 45 minutes, with most of the play compressed into an area 30 yards either side of the halfway line, and an unusually high number of offside decisions punctuating the contest.

Goalkeeper Mike Ingham, one of three Wrexham players on international duty in the week ahead, was well placed to parry a Lawrie Dudfield effort on 13 minutes, and there were two half-chances for Jones in the opening half-hour. Both came from Lee Roche crosses that were knocked down by Lee McEvilly, who played despite having been troubled by a stomach upset.

Shaun Pejic did well to hurl himself in front of Dudfield's 19th minute effort from a superb cross delivered by Pedj Bojic, but the fact that the first corner of the game - for Town - was not won until the 33rd minute was an indication of the battle for possession and territory, the home side's Eoin Jess and Ian Taylor being matched kick for kick by Darren Ferguson and Danny Williams.

Jones, also not averse to putting his foot in, was always patrolling the area 25 yards from the visitors' goal, and he saw another long range effort deflected away before setting up Jon Walters, whose shot provided keeper Lee Harper with a routine save.

It was a different story after the break when the visitors had the wind and the driving rain in their faces and Northampton were fired up by Calder-wood's interval pep talk.

Andy Holt and Pejic made timely interventions to deny Josh Low and Jess respectively and fellow defenders Dave Bayliss and Dennis Lawrence were kept equally busy. The Trinidad international conceded a corner from which Roche was fortunate to see the ball skim off the top of his head and just clear the Wrexham crossbar.

It was all hands to the pumps for the Dragons as Jones somehow stopped a Lowe pile-driver on the line and then managed to scramble the ball away to safety as Eric Sabin rushed in to claim the rebound.

But the visitors survived and might even have snatched a goal themselves when Harper fumbled a Roche cross, and was grateful to see McEvilly hook a difficult chance wide of the target.

And Roche set up another opportunity 14 minutes from time, freeing Walters down the right. The striker displayed great skill to make room for his cross but the ball was marginally behind Jones and he could only lift it over Harper's goal.

With both teams showing signs of fatigue in the closing stages, a mistake was always on the cards and it was the otherwise impeccable Bayliss who erred a minute from time.

Under pressure from substitute Andy Kirk he tried to shepherd the ball out of play, but the striker got ahead of him and curled his shot over Ingham onto the bar and behind.

Such is the narrow margin between success and failure, as Calderwood acknowledged. "We had a couple of very good efforts," he said..

"The Wrexham boys defended heroically at times, not only to block the shot from Josh Low, but also to clear from Eric Sabin. We are frustrated to take only a point but it was a decent display.

"In this game I felt we looked dangerous and we looked like we might score in the second half, which is something we did not look like doing against Barnet.

"We talked long and hard about our defensive performance against them, emphasising what roles people have to fulfil, and I thought we looked better defensively against Wrexham.

"We are just frustrated that a mixture of last gasp defending from Wrexham and the woodwork denied us all three points."

And Wrexham boss Smith summed up the afternoon, saying: "I think we had some decent play but they had a lot of pressure in the second half.

" Let's say Northampton deserved something from this game, far more than Notts County did on Tuesday night."

. MAN OF THE MATCH ... Dennis Lawrence

* Defender was literally head and shoulders above his colleagues


Mark Jones' goal-line clearance kept visitors in it

NORTHAMPTON : Harper; Crowe, Chambers, Dyche, Hunt; Taylor, Low (Gilligan 85), Jess, Bojic (Brett Johnson 54); Sabin (Kirk 63), Dudfield. Subs: Bunn, Brad Johnson.

WREXHAM: Ingham; Pejic, Bayliss, Lawrence; Roche, Mark Jones, Ferguson, Williams, Holt; McEvilly (Bennett 69), Walters. Subs: Smith, Michael Jones, Mackin, Spender.

REFEREE : Carl Boyeson

ATT: 5,075

NEXT MATCH : Carlisle (h), Sat, 3pm